of the Program Elements presented in the FOARAM Act and, therefore, in the Themes of the IWGOA’s Strategic Plan. The analyses we present in this report involve both ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ perspectives. In the former context, we have examined in depth the Strategic Plan’s specific strategies for addressing the seven individual Themes found in the Plan. In the latter context, we have attempted to offer helpful suggestions for how these interrelated Themes can better be coordinated, such that, for example, findings from the natural sciences can effectively inform decisions related to mitigation and adaptation efforts in the realm of the socioeconomic challenges that will arise from ocean acidification.
As chair of the review committee, I wish to express my deep appreciation for the enormous level of effort expended by the committee and the National Research Council Staff who assisted us in all phases of our analysis. In my four decades of serving as a university faculty member, I have never worked with a committee that was so informed, cooperative, prompt to complete their tasks, and collegial throughout the whole process. For me (and I think I can speak here for the entire committee) it was remarkably educational to take part in discussions that ranged from the fine details of measuring the pH of seawater to the complex and difficult-to-predict effects of acidification on fisheries and the US and global economies. I thank the committee for being such a remarkable set of mentors! Special praise and expression of gratitude is warranted by the NRC staff who worked closely with us through all phases of our activities. Dr. Claudia Mengelt, the Study Director; Dr. Jessica Dutton, Research Associate; and Ms. Heather Chiarello, Senior Program Assistant, always knew when and how best to help us out. Dr. Susan Roberts, Director of the Ocean Studies Board, was always available to offer assistance on any challenging issue where our committee needed guidance.
Our committee hopes that this document will assist the IWGOA and other relevant parties in developing a comprehensive National Program in Ocean Acidification that meets the expectations of the FOARAM Act. A successful Program will help to provide our nation and the broader international community with a more complete understanding of the problems posed by ocean acidification and, through this analysis, will allow formulation of mechanisms for mitigating and adapting to this rapidly developing change in the our oceans.
Following NRC policy, our report was reviewed by nine expert referees. We thank these referees for their helpful suggestions, which reflect a reading of our report by “fresh sets of eyes” and well-informed perspectives on the great many topics encompassed by ocean acidification.